How to Make Your Brakes Last Longer
Last month we looked at some common brake problems and the dangers of driving with a deteriorated or damaged braking system. This month, we thought we’d look at some ways in which you can help save the condition of your brakes so they stay in top working order for as long as possible.
Be less aggressive with your brakes
Your driving style can have a huge impact on the condition of your brakes. An aggressive driving style where you are regularly braking hard from high speeds will put extra and unnecessary strain on your brakes, causing the brake pads to deteriorate rapidly, dramatically shortening their lifespan.
Riding your brakes, too, is a bad habit to get into. Constantly riding your brakes is the fastest way to degrade your brake pads and can also cause damage to your rotors. For downhill driving you will often be better off downshifting and engine braking instead. This will help keep your brakes from overheating – which can cause temporary brake failure, resulting in dangerous driving conditions for you, anyone in the car and other road users.
The time you might expect to save from speeding just isn’t worth it when you think of all the potential consequences. One consequence you may have overlooked is how speeding can impact your brakes. There will be a marked difference between having to decelerate from 65 mph and 55; your brakes will have to work harder to dissipate the extra energy, which creates more heat – which will only accelerate the wear on your brakes. A safer, calmer driving style will not only help save lives, but it will also save you money; whether it’s money from speeding fines, or money spent on replacing your brakes much more often than you should.
Think about weight
An overloaded car will place a much greater burden on your brakes, so it’s worth considering how much extra weight your car might be holding. Clear out the boot of any bulky items you don’t need and store them elsewhere, and be mindful of the the weight added by things like luggage, or even passengers. Try not to overload your car; even if you’re looking to transport goods or belongings over long distances, it’s likely best to find an alternative if you’ve noticed that your brakes have been struggling with extra weight in the past.
Keep your eyes on the road
An attentive driver is not only a safer driver, but is also more efficient. Being constantly aware of your surroundings, including other drivers and upcoming hazards, will lessen the need for hard, sharp braking because something has taken you by surprise. Keeping an eye to the distance will allow you to properly anticipate stopping distances for junctions and traffic lights, giving you much more time to brake properly without having to come to a rapid stop. Combining this with what we mentioned earlier regarding speed will make for a much safer driving style, and one that is much friendlier to your brakes – and other drivers following behind you.
Get your brakes serviced
The best way to ensure your brakes don’t end up becoming worn or damaged is to have them checked regularly by professionals. Smaller problems can be spotted and rectified early before they develop into much more serious issues, and forgoing regular checks could leave you driving with dangerously impaired brakes. Safety is always the most important consideration to make when it comes to driving any vehicle, and ignoring your brakes only invites danger in the future. A reliable, qualified mechanic will help prolong the lifespan of your brakes and give you advice on how to maintain their condition so you won’t have to keep forking out for full replacements.
Wyatt Auto Services specialise in brake repair and maintenance, offering a comprehensive service when it comes to inspecting, repairing or replacing your brakes. Our highly skilled team strive to provide excellent customer service, tailoring everything we do to your specific requirements at an affordable price. For more information on all our maintenance and repair services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today.